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How to use SAP HANA hdbcons utility

Hi HANA colleagues,

I would like to suggest using a “hdbcons” utility for SAP HANA troubleshooting.

The “hdbcons” is a HANA kernel utility.

There are many options in that utility.

For example,

1) To get threads list,

    hdbcons “context list -s” > thread_callstack_test.txt

2) To generate runtime dump (see the Note 1813020 – How to generate a runtime dump on SAP HANA)

    hdbcons “runtimedump dump -f /test/rte_dump.txt”

Also for a suspected memory issue, please see the below two Notes for more details.

1. Note 1786918 – SAP HANA Database: Provide Information with hdbcons 

2. Note 1804811 – SAP HANA Database: Kernel Profiler Trace

The SAP HANA is a database, therefore if some issue occurs then the initial action is really important to solve that issue without any business impact.

Perhaps the worst case, for example not easy to log in due to bad performance, the “hdbcons” might be helpful for troubleshooting HANA issues.

Please see the below table of “hdbcons” options.

You can also find all options in help of “hdbcons”.






Exit console client


Mutex management


ContainerDirectory management


PageAccess management


CheckTopic management


Converter management


ContainerNameDirectory management


Performance Counter Monitor management


Execution context management (i.e., threads)




Converter management


Exit console client


Crash management


ResourceManager management


Debug management


Generate a runtime dump.


DataVolume management


Savepoint management


ELF symbol resolution management


Snapshot management


Event management


Statistics registry command


Exit console client


Statistics management


Display help for a command or command list


TraceTopic management


Show information about logger and manipulate logger


Trace management


Memory management


Version management


Monitor view command


VirtualFile management


Malloc proxy management

– Hyungsang Park

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  • Hi,

    Is there any link/resource available for detailed usage/examples about this. I am looking for the usage of the debug option in particular.

    Thanks in advance.

    • That’s the thing about this tool:

      It’s exclusively designed for HANA core developers.

      The (quite spotty) documentation is SAP internal and not to be shared with non-sap folks.

      Besides that, you’d very likely be heavily disappointed about the “debug” feature you mentioned. It’s mainly used to test the error handling code in HANA and not at all related to anything you model or program in your database instance.

      But with SPS 5 there is SQL Script debugging available – so that might be a thing for you to look into.

      – Lars

      • Thanks for the updates Lars.

        Actually, when i first saw this utility, i was wondering why i never came across this in any of the publicly available documentation provided by SAP till date. Then i thought this might be some new upcoming feature for SPS06. 🙂 So wanted to explore it more.

        It seems SAP HANA is full of many internal surprises like this one. Few days ago, i witnessed another such case for QUERY HINTS, when it was suggested as SAP-Internal-Only stuff  (Though we now have the updated “plan visualizer” for doing the stuff).

        Thanks for keeping us updated. 🙂

    • Hi Vishal,

      Please see the SAP Note 1786918 (SAP HANA Database: Provide Information with hdbcons) for example about hdbcons.

      This note might be helpful.


      – Hyungsang

    • Sorry, but I’ve got to disagree.

      This is not an excellent blog at all.

      It might be well meant, but that’s about the good part.

      In fact this contribution is one of those that will do a lot more harm than good.

      Like several other tools hdbcons is a declared unsupported and disclosed documented HANA developer tool.

      These tools are meant to serve HANA core developers – the guys’n’girls that develop the HANA platform – with information of internal HANA structures.

      Information required to run and support a HANA installation nowadays is completely available via the monitoring views.

      This includes the current call stacks for the running threads.

      Ah, while we’re at this topic: who of you had ever been able to locate a problem or tell what a specific thread was doing by creating a runtime dump?

      Well, I thought so.

      Just like e.g. ORADEBUG or DBCC hdbcons is not a supportability feature and promoting it as such is serving the HANA development badly.

      You could as well go on and state: “Hey, there’s gdb and strace on this HANA Linux box – that’s great for support!“.

      HDBCONS is just a couple of layers higher up the code chain and to use it properly you have to have knowledge that is often only available to the developers of that specific function/module.

      The time spent with figuring out how this tool does what is much better spent by familiarizing yourself with the current documentation for monitoring and administration.

      Ok –  enough ranting about the fact that you Hyungsang Park felt it was a great idea to write a bit about this unsupported internal tool.

      The second thing I really don’t like about this post is the fact that it barely contains any personal experience.

      So you found a couple of commands that worked for you with this tool. So what?

      What’s your story with that?

      Have you been able to achieve something that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise?

      Did you get a system up and running again that was considered lost?

      Please, when writing a blog or article come up with more than just technical stuff that is available in the command help text or the documentation.

      Show us the benefit, the stuff that amazed/scared/frustrated/entertained you and tell us why it did that!

      Don’t stop writing blog posts now – keep’em coming!

      But please come up with something better than this.

      – Lars

      • Hi Lars,

        in my book, anything which we’re not supposed to know about is actually what we want to know about 🙂

        Boys and girls, remember what Lars said, don’t try this at home, and handle with care.

        Lars, all the best for 2013 and looking forward to more of your excellent blogs 🙂

        Andy Silvey.

      • Hi Lars,

        Thank a lot for your advice.

        I really agree with you. I will take your advice.

        I just want to suggest that to make someone helpful to solve some worst problems.

        (ex. not easy to log in the HANA due to bad performance)

        In my point of view,

        HANA is a database so if some issue occurs then the initial action is really important to solve that issue without any restart processes(without any business impact).

        For example, we can trigger and analyze java thread dump in any situation using Solman RCA. Like this, I think HANA admin should be able to trigger and analyze thread dump by themselves in any situation.

        Anyway I will edit this post as your advice.

        Thank you.

        – Hyungsang

        • Completely agreed!

          The good thing is: you already can do all these things via HANA Studio!

          A lot of development for SPS 5 had been just about maintainability and supportability.

          Reading call stacks from the HANA studio: easy (actually just a tick on the checkbox in the threads overview).

          But then again: what do you do with the thread dump if you don’t know the HANA source code?

          Most objects and methods have names that indicate a certain activity, but usually that’s about it (and I’ve had the pleasure to look at a lot of crash dumps with stack back traces…).

          Seriously: after more then 1 1/2 years of HANA support and troubleshooting I can honestly say that most of the really helpful insights were delivered by (in this very order):

          1. monitoring views
          2. trace/log files
          3. statistics server data
          4. activated traces
          5. performance trace/plan visualisation

          That’s why I prefer those options – not because they are officially supported and hdbcons is not – but because they allow me to do my work.

          – Lars

          • Hello Lars,

            why am I not suprised that the SAP internal documentation on HANA is roughly as rudimentary as the public documentation? The SAP support can resort to the source code in order to troubleshoot issues.

            Anyway, how about writing a blog on your favorite monitoring views and what kind of issues can be tackled with them? There are few other people who could do that, but there are lots of people who would really like to read such a blog.



          • Meanwhile there are lot of excellent FAQ SAP notes on that available – these should cover the need for information on that level.

            Also, personally I moved on to other jobs than HANA support a long time ago, which is why I don’t feel that I have a good personal story/experience to share about HANA internals digging. When I write I don’t try to write another piece of reference documentation or just put out a list of factoids. I try to share insights, experiences and  things that are interesting to me (and maybe to others).
            Well, that’s my approach to writing anyway.

            As a SAP employee you should have no problem to get access to the internal development resources; maybe you look into those and write your own blog posts about your experiences then .